Secret Machines

Now Here Is Nowhere

Under an outdoor party tent at this year's SXSW, the Secret Machines played way longer than their allotted set time. The stage manager didn't have the heart to stop them though, because he knew it would have been like stopping Pink Floyd from playing at Pompeii (yes, they were that anthemic). Seemingly defying the confines of a trio, the Machines conjured the wrath and rumble of Zeppelin and a hypnotic drone that few of their contemporaries are capable of. Unfortunately, this is music that falls flat outside of the live arena. Now Here Is Nowhere is an overproduced song cycle that sounds brittle and stale. Worst of all is that, on record, you can actually hear singer Brandon Curtis' lyrics, which read like a freshman's first attempt at poignant poetry: vague fragments of thought that don't actually add up to him taking a stance on anything. Bummer.

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